CASE ONE: MATERIALITY ANALYSIS
Client Issue: A major third-party logistics provider was unsure of where it stood on sustainability issues relative to its peers, best practices and emerging standards and felt it could not proceed without having this understanding. The 3PL called upon Kuhn Associates to help them understand their current position as a precursor to making additional sustainability-related investments.
Our Approach: We conducted a “Baseline Sustainability Assessment,” undertaking site visits, interviewing key stakeholders and reviewing internal and publicly-available documents. We then analyzed this material in relation to:
We provided the client with a written Baseline Sustainability Assessment Report and oral presentation containing both narrative and graphic material. We color-coded sustainability-related issues as to relative urgency based upon the comparative.
Outcome: The Baseline Sustainability Assessment Report was received and reviewed by management and formed the basis for making strategic decisions about additional investments in sustainability. Because the Report provided much-needed insight into relative priorities, the client chose to narrow its near-term sustainability focus.
CASE TWO: SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT POLICY DESIGN
Client Issue: A global food producer that had made significant strides in operational sustainability suspected that its procurement function was lagging with respect to sustainability efforts and achievements. The company called upon Kuhn Associates to verify this viewpoint and design a robust policy protocol for deploying sustainable procurement across a global platform with a US$5.25bn annual spend.
Our Approach: Kuhn Associates reviewed the client’s standing relative to sustainable procurement with corporate management and assigned their efforts and achievements to a specific quintile relative to peer companies. Then, a budget and timeline was developed to move global procurement up one quintile in 18 months. Kuhn Associates designed a sustainable procurement policy protocol suitable for global deployment consisting of:
Outcome: Based upon its review of the complexity of the sustainable procurement program, the client targeted several aspects of the program to deliver to its in-house project management department. Other aspects of the program are under refinement.
CASE THREE: GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORY COVERING ENTIRE VALUE CHAIN
Client Issue: A U.S.-based global fashion brand needed insight into areas of sustainability that represented near-term opportunities for advancing sustainability. Corporate management expressed a strong commitment to sustainability, had made some significant inroads in facility-related sustainability but felt that without further direction it could not decide which areas next to tackle.
Our Approach: We held discussions with corporate management about objectives, timelines and resource availability. Based upon these discussions, we decided to perform a value chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting based upon the newly-issued Greenhouse Gas Protocol Value Chain Standard. We performed the accounting using a mix of internal and supplier-provided data, received third-party methodology assurance and provided the client with a written Value Chain GHG Emissions Inventory Report in compliance with the Standard. A separate report we created provided recommendations for how to reduce value chain GHG emissions in the near- and medium-terms.
Outcome: In addition to acquiring baseline data about value chain GHG emissions, the client achieved new insight into value chain processes and stakeholders. The client is preparing for the next iteration of its value chain GHG emissions inventory, intending to use a significantly higher percentage of supplier-provided data.